Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Tuesday asked the Centre to grant permanent residential status to over 1.6 lakh Sri Lankan Tamil refugees residing in the state.
They should be given permanent residential status to enable the state government to initiate steps for improving their economic and social wellbeing, Karunanidhi wrote in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's official organ Murasoli.
The government is of the view that any effort to improve these refugees living conditions would only be an effort to enhance the livelihood of Tamils as a whole, he said.
Karunanidhi, who sanctioned Rs 12 crore to improve the conditions at the refugee camps yesterday, said he was pained to read an article published in a magazine on the conditions in the camps.He said there were 115 refugee camps housing 73,241 Lankan Tamils in 26 districts in the state. Besides, 31,802 of them were living outside the camps in the state, he said.